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Discussion Starter #1
Methos is 19 and Pixel is 18; this past year they have been showing their age. They sleep more and are getting the old man skinny look. They are still healthy but I KNOW I will be losing them in the next year or two. Tag on to that my mother is 80 with heart issues and my grandmother just hit 99. I'm just fretting I know but I need to start working on how to deal with the losses before it happens and I find myself falling to pieces or focusing too much on the problem instead of the now.
 

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I understand where you're coming from, but don't think it possible to really prepare. The fact that you are aware is your plan: you will watch and notice and observe - and then if things begin to go really wrong you will act without waffling around and great wishful thinking.

As to your present personal painful anticipation, it's easy to become a basket case when things are still ok. I don't know what that is about, for I also have it.

Perhaps it's another part of "the pain of love".
 

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You can never be prepared so don't work on how to deal with the losses except in the most practical sense. God bless you. In a period of just over 4 years, I lost both of my parents, three cats (one of them young) and a horse - it was far from easy but my advice is genuine - please live in the "now" and try your hardest to appreciate what you have and had instead of worrying about the future. I didn't always succeed (probably worst with the young cat - I became very unsympathetic to other people's problems on here) but you will be stronger if you don't pull yourself down in advance. I wish I could give you a hug, right now.
 

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Imo this would be something to discuss with a licensed therapist. Grief counseling after the fact is great, but if the issue is already interfering with your life it may be wise to see someone now.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Post turned in to a minor pity party after a very long sleepless night. Sorry about that.
 

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There is nothing wrong with venting to those who understand!

I was just saying that if this is something that weighs on you so much that it seems to be interfering with your life (breaking down and unable to focus on the now) then a licensed therapist can help you deal with these issues.
 

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At 19 and 18 your seniors have been well looked after and have a good life. You will know when it's time to "do something". As long as your cats are enjoying life, still eating, enjoy their long naps, just let things be. If they start losing control of their bowels, urine, go off eating on their own, then you will know they are not enjoying their life any more. They do get a certain look in their eyes near the end. So I wouldn't force feed them, and if they are hunched over, staring blankly, and not really dozing, then are likely in pain, and then you will have to make a decision---let them die a natural but possibly painful death, or have them humanely euthanized. It would be best that they die while sleeping, but that's not always the case. It's one of the hardest decisions to make. All the best when the time comes. If you think your cats will be too stressed going to the vet, some vets will come to your home to euthanize. That is something that you should determine in advance, as it will give you peace of mind.
 

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Once older, it is not a surprise that the end of life as we know it, is closer. Ok so don't be surprised but you can't prepare for grief. You will be sad. It will take time. And each end of life is different. You make the best decisions you can as a caregiver. As for the now, the advice to live in the now is important. Because this "now" is the quality of life that you are giving and getting.
 

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We brought home our new cat the same day we brought home our other cats cremains. We were caught completely off guard when he lost the use of his front legs at 17. He didn't look old or anything. Perfect body condition. We expected him to see his 20th bday. You will know what's right and be sad. Don't be afraid to move on though. While it was a fast replacement, this new one keeps us laughing all the time. We raised such a good cat once. I feel like it somehow honors the old cat by giving a new cat a life just as great. Our old man went cross country with us multiple times. He was a true companion. I think our boy appreciated is being with him at the end. I'll miss the silent meows and eye contact most.
 
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